Simon had been a Special Educational Needs Teacher for six years but funding cuts led to redundancy. Instead of seeing it as a negative, he saw it as an opportunity to explore other possibilities and learn new skills before returning to teaching.
“I’ve always had an interest in migration and cultural identities. My specialist teaching subject was secondary citizenship but I had no prior knowledge of Migrant Help until I happened to meet someone who worked there and they told me about the organisation. I was really interested in what I heard and so decided to find out more.
I discovered that the Dover Office had a need for volunteer English teachers for people who had been victims of trafficking. I didn’t know much about trafficking at the time and was appalled when I learnt some of the things that have happened to people and was amazed by how wonderful and resilient these people are. I volunteered for around six months, until I had no choice but to return to my career in schools.
Upon returning to teaching within the school environment, I realised my real passion was for the work of Migrant Help. Luckily, an opportunity with the charity presented itself and I secured casual work as an Anti-Trafficking Outreach Worker. I also continued to volunteer whenever I could. After three months, a full time position within Migrant Help’s Asylum Help service became available and I was delighted to be offered the role of Compliance Officer.
I feel very privileged to have discovered this organisation. I am happy doing something that I know makes a positive difference. My colleagues are also pretty amazing too!